This is a very shallow and unscholarly book. The thrust of the argument, about how Jews ignored the Holocaust and Israel until about 1970 and then took them up with a vengeance because it served American imperialist interests, is largely cribbed from a book by Novick. But where Novick is slanted but scholarly, mentioning and dismissing counter-examples in footnotes, Finkelstein simply makes assertions. The book betrays an ignorance of both American Jewish culture and American popular culture.
June 21, 2009 Subject:
Scholarly and Objective- A Classic on the Subject
From an interview with Norman Finkelstein, professor and author of The Holocaust Industry
Anas Altikriti: ...You have written a book on the Holocaust industry, how it’s become, well, an industry, basically. Tell us a little about that. What’s your take on that? Particularly the fact that every year we have this discussion, this debate within the Muslim communities around Europe as to whether they should go, they shouldn’t go, and such.
Norman Finkelstein: They should definitely not go.
Anas Altikriti: Why?
Norman Finkelstein: Because the Holocaust Memorial Day has nothing to do with the Nazi holocaust. The Holocaust industry has nothing to do with the Nazi holocaust. All it is, is an ideological weapon of Israel and its supporters to immunize Israel and its supporters from criticism. It has nothing to do with the actual event. These people don’t care about the actual event. They don’t care about the survivors. It’s a manipulative public relations device, and I think nobody should have any truck with it. You should stay away from it, you should boycott it, and say that you’re not going to allow the Nazi holocaust to be turned into an ideological club to keep dissenting opinion in line. I would never—I’ve never even gone to the U.S. Holocaust museum in Washington. I’m not going to have anything to do with that. My parents suffered too much, endured too much, for their suffering to be turned into a weapon to justify war.
Just look at what happened, the build-up to the war in Iraq in 2003. Anyone who dissented—anyone who dissented from an illegal war of aggression was accused of being an appeaser of Hitler. Now can you imagine that? The Nazi holocaust has now become the main ideological weapon for justifying wars of aggression. That’s a fact. Every time Israel and the United States want to launch an illegal war of aggression, what do they charge? That their enemy is Hitler. Ahmadinejad, he’s Hitler. Hezbollah’s Hitler. Hamas is Hitler. Every time they want to commit an illegal war of aggression, they use the Nazi holocaust to justify it. Now that’s the ultimate irony. The Nazi holocaust has become the chief, the main ideological weapon for waging illegal wars of aggression. Why should anyone have anything to do with that? Stay away from those memorials. Let the Holocaust-mongers and the warmongers attend those memorials. No self-respecting, decent, peace-loving person, someone who loves justice, would have anything to do with those memorials.